Japanese born, Brazilian bred lightweight Goiti Yamauchi is interested in returning to the Rizin ring. He underlined his title credentials to his existing employers with stoppage win over Neiman Gracie at Bellator 284 earlier this month.

Yamauchi was asked by MMA Mania whether he would like to challenge Roberto de Souza for the Rizin lightweight title and his response was emphatic,

“100%. Just give me two months to cut the weight and we’ll accept this fight for sure. I would love to fight him.”

Strong roots

De Souza and Yamauchi are both Brazilians with strong roots in Japan. The former is based there permanently while the latter has not lived there since he was 3.

But Yamauchi’s parents are both either Japanese or half Japanese and he wants to take advantage of Bellator’s partnership with Rizin. He has already had the opportunity to fight on one card in Tokyo.

He submitted Daron Cruickshank at Bellator Japan in 2019 and says the country still has a special place in his heart,

“I’m always gonna ask for an opportunity when I have these opportunities to fight in Japan. Most of my family, they are out there. I love the Japanese fans, I love that country, it’s my country, my heart lives in Japan still. I feel I’m home when I’m in Japan.”


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Impressive victory

Former Bellator bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi is set to fight at Rizin 38. Yamauchi would love the opportunity to return to Japan and doesn’t mind which promotion puts on the card,

“I can’t wait to come back for Bellator or even Rizin. I will always ask for this opportunity. I can’t wait to come back.”

Yamauchi is coming off an impressive victory over a Brazilian. He became the first fighter to ever finish Neiman Gracie earlier this month and extended his winning streak to three.

He would like to take on another Brazilian. De Souza has dominated the lightweight division since making his Rizin debut in 2019, winning seven fights out of eight and avenging his only loss by submitting Johnny Case earlier this year.

He also submitted three opponents in a single night at Rizin 17. The promotion is clearly running out of contenders to take on the lightweight king and Yamauchi would like to throw his hat into that mix.